Stop Playing, Listen in your Head

I was trying to find a transition between two verses and what I was coming up with was pretty boring and frankly, not fitting right. So I played the arrangement up to that point and stopped as soon as the verse was over. I closed my eyes and started singing in my head what would sound good. I was able to come up with a beautiful sound the first time I tried this.

I’ve definitely heard music in my head before but this time it helped to stop at a part I was stuck on and try to get my brain instead of my fingers to figure it out.

When I Am Baptized

I have wanted to do an arrangement of this song for a long time but I was kind of waiting for inspiration to strike. Well, strike it did and just in time for my son’s baptism this year! I wrote the violin/piano version first and really wanted a voice option too. So, I modified the music and created that also.

You’ll notice I did my signature signature 🙂  Yep, I changed it from 3/4 to 6/8. I may love 6/8 a little too much!

I’m hoping to get recording with a real violin when my sister-in-law comes into town next. For now, this will do. I hope you love this version as much as I do (I sit down just to play this all the time)!

When I Am Baptized Piano/Violin
When I Am Baptized Violin
When I Am Baptized Piano/Voice

Piano/Violin:

Piano/Voice:

Composing Tip: Switching Up Rhythms

I’ve been working on a song in 6/8 time. Toward the end of the song I had a measure where the melody had 3 eighth notes then a dotted quarter. It didn’t sound right. I mean, it wasn’t a bad sound but it wasn’t interesting. When I switched that up and played the dotted quarter first then the 3 eighth notes, it not only sounded really good but it had a different feel than other parts of the song. It was just what that part of the song needed. Try out switching rhythms!

When Faith Endures

First off, this song is unbelievably fun to play and sing. So even if you’re not a great singer but like to sing  (like me) try it out after listening to it and getting the feel for it in your head.

About the song…

I have always liked the lyrics to this song. I felt like I wanted to do to this song what Rob Gardner did to Savior Redeemer of My Soul. Ok, so mine isn’t nearly as touching as that amazing arrangement but it sure gave me inspiration.

I really wanted to add a second verse. I found one that had some great lyrics written by Bryant Adams. With his permission I changed a few of the lyrics. I really wanted the song to end with “when faith endures” and I wanted to add this idea by Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf given in a general conference address entitled, “Be Not Afraid, Only Believe”:

“When we choose to believe, exercise faith unto repentance, and follow our Savior, Jesus Christ, we open our spiritual eyes to splendors we can scarcely imagine. Thus our belief and faith will grow stronger, and we will see even more.”

Oh, I love that and I hope that message comes across in this arrangement. I recommend opening up the music in another tab and following along with the video since the melody and lyrics will be unfamiliar. Enjoy!

When Faith Endures

Faith in Every Footstep

Our stake choir director asked if I could arrange an easy version of this song for a youth stake choir. K. Newell Dayley’s SSAATTBB arrangement is beautiful with a capital B, but way too hard for a beginning choir. So, I tried to make an easier arrangement with a very similar feel as Dayley’s. I almost feel bad saying it’s my arrangement because I imitated his so closely. I just hope this helps some choirs with fewer choir members or more inexperienced members.

I decided to add an SATB for choirs who are lucky enough to have more people and experience.

Faith in Every Footstep (SAB)
Faith in Every Footstep (SAB & piano)
Faith in Every Footstep (SATB)
Faith in Every Footstep (SATB & piano)
Faith in Every Footstep (Piano only)

Choir tips: Here’s something I’ve never done before because until recently I knew nothing about singing. Luckily, I worked with an amazing choir director whose notes these are. This pdf is her marked-up notes for the youth choir. It is the notes for the SAB version but you can use them as reference for the SATB version as well.

Our director gave the youth this music when they were first learning their parts, then she gave them the above music afterward. NB=no breath. Commas=breath. And it is easy to hold out the last note. Choir members can breath whenever they want as long as it’s not the same time as the person next to them and they keep their mouth looking like they are still singing. Our choir director always said, “Breath anywhere you want except where there’s a slur!”

I hope this all helps! I know working with this piece helped me learn a lot!

Faith in Every Footstep parts with choir notes

Forgive my voice and I promise it sounds amazing with a full choir!

I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go

I think this is the longest it has ever taken me to complete a song but it was worth it! There are a two points of interest I have in this song:

1. A while back I had a composing tip post called Play it Backwards. This is the song where playing it backwards worked. If you go to the Hymn book and play the last measure or 2 of this song backwards, then listen to my intro you’ll hear the similarity.

2. I love how the third verse of this song says that we are laboring for “Jesus the Crucified.” I slowed down this part of the music on the third verse to really emphasize the importance of this truth. When I think of the lyrics and play this part I get teary eyed. (the note that is held out in measure 65-66 could be shortened a little, just saying if you want to try that–I have it the way it is for the beat sake)

I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go

Composing Tip: Change Octaves

When arranging music I feel intros can be tricky to come up with. I don’t just want to play the last line of the song as an intro. That can be boring, and coming up with something new can sometimes sound out of place for the song.

One thing I have done to change up an intro is change octaves on the last note of a line. Take “I Feel My Savior’s Love” for example. Look at the first line (line of the title). Instead of playing the normal F on “love” you play it an octave higher. Can you hear playing that higher note while your left hand is playing ascending notes leading you into the song?

I’ve found this technique useful for changing up intros, but it could very well be useful at other points of an arrangement too. Try it out!

Where Can I Turn for Peace?

I’m very excited about this one because it is the first duet I’ve written! It took a while to write but I’m really happy with the result. My favorite thing about this song is that it is simple but beautiful. It is easy enough for about an intermediate student to play with a peer or a teacher.

Remember to play it with emotion, without it, the song doesn’t sound nearly as good. Enjoy!

Where Can I Turn for Peace? (Primo)

Where Can I Turn for Peace? (Secondo)

I would like to thank my friend Cathy for playing this with me and helping me work out the kinks.

Reverence is Love

Our stake presidency asked all bishops to take a whole sacrament meeting and discuss reverence. I was over activity days at the time and we were asked to do the musical number that day. I arranged this for the girls to sing. They got up right after the sacrament was passed and when the bishop got up to speak right after them he was almost in tears from the wonderful spirit those girls sang with.

This song goes through the song twice. I just felt like I should do that to really reinforce the meaning of the words. Hope you like it and as always, picture it with a better voice than mine 🙂

Reverence is Love

I have tried to contact the copyright owner of this music, through multiple methods, and have heard no response for over a year. If the copyright owner wishes for me to take this down I will. Please contact me and I will do it immediately.

My Heavenly Father Loves Me

My husband’s college roommate played this song on his guitar and I wrote some piano to go with it. I took the music I wrote and made it for just piano and voice. I love that it has a pop sound but still very beautiful. I don’t think that would have happened had I not written it to a guitar part first.

Feel free to change up the voicing however you want. Because it has a pop sound, there are a lot of ways to sing it that sound great! I just kind of wrote out about what I sing.

My Heavenly Father Loves Me

I have tried to contact the copyright owner of this music and have heard no response for more than half a year. If the copyright owner wishes for me to take this down I will. Please contact me and I will do it immediately.